“Netherbird im Interview”

Albumcover

Netherbird veröffentlichen am 30.07.2021 mit Arete das Album, dass ihre mit „The Grander Voyage“ begonnene und mit „Into The Vast Uncharted“ fortgeführte Trilogie abschließt. Das Netherbird in der Szene keine Unbekannten sind, besonders in Skandinavien, haben sie ihren fünf klasse Alben zu verdanken, die sie bereits releasten, zu verdanken. Auch Album zwei der Trilogie war gut bewertet worden und so wartet man mit Freude auf Arete, dass ich heute besprechen werde. Auch dieses Werk kommt über Eisenwald. Außerdem haben sie seit ihrer Gründung im Jahr 2004 eine Reihe von EPs und Singles produziert. Ich bin sehr gespannt, ob die Mischung von Black und Death wieder so gut klappt. Heute habe ich ein Interview mit Johan “Nephente” Fridell für euch! Viel Spaß!

Tobi – Metal and Me

Nephente – Netherbird


Hello „Nephente“ from „Netherbird“.  My name is Tobi.  I run a Facebook page and a webblog.  On this page I post reviews of current albums, interviews, band presentations and reports about concerts that I visit with my wheelchair.  On the one hand, to tell other wheelchair users how the venue is equipped in terms of accessibility and on the other hand, how to best proceed to get tickets, which is usually not possible with conventional ticket portals.

In the future I will also write about hygiene measures, as this is important for me as a high-risk patient and for my readers too. Of course, I also write about the bands‘ performance.  Today I have a few questions for you about your new Album „Arete“.


First of all, I want to ask you, how are you and your Bandmates doing right now?

Hello Tobi, great to hear from you! Me and the band are doing ok, but to be honest the last year has been tough on everyone around the world, and I guess we all suffer more or less, and us in the are no different. I really hope the world soon goes back into something a bit more normal, whatever that is, at least I hope to meet more friends and also go and see a few live gigs. I miss that the most, to be able to attend events and just be at one with the music, it is a source of energy and inspiration. I prefer small underground gigs, but at this point any sort of event with music would be very welcome. 

If you meet someone who did not now what kind of Band „Netherbird“ is and what kind of Music you make – what do you tell him?

I would say that we play quite melodic blackened death metal, and that our influences are all the good bands that come in the early 90’s death and black metal scene in Scandinavia. But we are a band doing that kind of music _today_, in our own way. These days I think we have found a pretty distinct sound that we slowly are developing on each new album. On our more recent albums we have also let a little more of our heavy metal influences shine through, so we do also have quite a number of guitar solos which I personally really like.  

Arete is now the last album in the trilogy. How excited are you when you bring a project to a close after many years?

It does feel wonderful to finally have “Arete” out and I think it is a worthy album to close this chapter of albums. I think it is our most powerful album of our career and we wrote and recorded it during this strange and chaotic period of time, so with that in mind I am actually surprised that we managed to make it happen, but now it is here and I couldn’t be more proud of what we achieved.

The Track ”Towers Of The Night” was released as first Single. Why did you chose this Song?

When you just have written and recorded a album, you are so deep into the creative process that it is really hard to know which song to pick for singles. So this time we left it in the hands of our label Eisenwald to pick the first song, and they thought “Towers of the Night” would be great as the first single so we went with that. We also made a lyric video for the tune and Hard Media created a perfect visualisation of the song and the lyrics, and the reception has been great so I think it was a wise choice of single.

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Netherbird – “Void Dancer”

Will there be more Songs released as Videos?

Yes, we have two more lyric videos coming. The next single is “Void Dancer” and it was released June 30th along with a video. 

We of course would have wanted to have a “normal” video with the band also, but during this time Bizmark (who writes all the music and co-founded the band many years ago) lives in England so travelling have just been impossible, so that is the reason why the band is not part in the videos this time. 

My fav Song is „Atrium Of The Storm“. Can you tell me more about this awesome Song? How do you feel when you sing this song and do you have a fav Song?

Cool choice I must say! It is the closing song of the album! The song is an epic one with a lot of build ups and big choruses, in many ways more of a classic heavy metal song, but still sounding quite Netherbird I would say. The song is about the pain and struggles we go through in life, and that we can find peace and growth where people might not expect it. I don’t know you personally, but from your description of your blog I think you overcome a lot though things in your daily life, and you find purpose and meaning in the extreme metal music. Most people would think it was impossible, but you prove otherwise. I would say that this song is exactly about that. But perhaps the song speaks differently to you? When I write my lyrics, I want them to be open to the listeners so he or she can find their own meaning in them, then I have done my job well. 

For me I think “Void Dancer” might be the one I burn for the most on this album. It is deeply personal and it is also a beautiful piece of melodic blackened heavy metal. It will also be the second single from the album.

The album goes through the ups and downs of the human condition. How difficult or easy was it to find inspiration and how much did the Corona situation affect you?

My lyrics are often explorations of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs, that we as humans go through. We decided to start writing this album just a month or two after the Corona-chaos started and I really wanted to avoid that subject, because I thought everyone would be so tired of it and I want our albums to be more timeless in a sense. But of course, reading about the death-count daily and to see close friends suffer badly did affect me, but I tried to transform that into writing somewhat different texts. “Arete” is a an ancient Greek concept of “excellence” so that is what I explore on this album, not what “excellence” is, but what we all are willing to suffer on our path to find it. So the pandemic did influence me as a person, but hopefully not the lyrics as such. 

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What where your thoughts after seeing the Cover Art for the first time.

Wow. That is truly my impression when I first saw it. It is such a strong piece of art so it was just the natural way to go. We have previously used classical paintings but we wanted to go for something different and this one, made by my friend Nihil whom I have known for years, was just perfect. It is a beautiful piece in itself but it is also so open to interpretation and that makes it perfect to illustrate “Arete”. We have gotten a lot of positive reaction on it so fans seems to like it as well.

How is it to you to stay in contact with your fans via social media in these pandemic times and to find out what the mood is like in the fans‘ camp?

I started to do a live stream every Monday for a year as a way to keep in touch with people and as a chance for me to still engage in the music scene. I brough along friends from both smaller and more established acts and we just had a beer and spoke for 30-60 minutes per week. That was also a great way for me to just talk about my own thoughts during this period of time, and the episodes are still on YouTube so if you have lots of time you can dive into them. https://www.youtube.com/nephente_talks

How did you deal with the restrictions in the meantime?  How much does it restricted you in your working life? 

I have had the opportunity to work from home so I have not really had any problems with that, and in Sweden we haven’t had any “hard” lockdowns, so we have been able to go out and also visit restaurants (until 20.30 in the evenings). But no big gatherings have been allowed, so no live gigs. But despite this relative “easy” lockdown, I have still felt isolated, so I am very happy that this are going in the right direction now. It will take a long time before all restrictions are gone of course, but hopefully I can meet a lot of friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. I haven’t met my parents since last Christimas (see what I did there) so that will of course be a relief once we get there.

I did actually get my booking for the second shot of vaccine as I am answering these questions. So it looks like we see lights at the end of a tunnel. Hopefully not a train…

How have you spent your free time under Covid 19 so far?

I have been walking a lot, both in the city and out in nature, I really need that to clear my head. I have also done a lot of renovations of the apartment. I guess spending so much time at home made me see flaws in every little detail, but now I can honestly say that there is nothing left to improve. So it feels good to get out and see something else.

Do you switch off when you listen to Music and which Music do you prefer to relax?

Yes I listen to music almost all the time, but usually not metal music. I have currently been swimming in the digitial ocean of synthwave and discovered a lot of good stuff there. I also listen to more acustic stuff like neo folk. I do also keep track of most extreme metal albums that are released, but to relax I normally go for something else.

Which Band or Musician has inspired you the most?

Quorthon/Bathory, without a doubt. So diverse and so profoundly excellent music.

And which Album, if you have to chose one?

Bathory – Twilight of the Gods. In my opinion the most perfect album ever made.

Get away from the music a little. What about hobbies of you all?

I have rediscovered my interest in fixing things, practical stuff like the wiring of our apartment and building a tailor made office space for my wife. I haven’t really done such stuff since I left school but it is damn fun and I happen to actually be quite good at it when I put my mind to it.

I also spend an (un)healthy amount of time playing Xbox, and almost only one game: Trials Rising. It is so easy to start with but there is enormously difficult tracks available built by other players. During the pandemic I have gone from “ok” to “good” I would say. But I will keep pushing, at least for as long as this strange time is ongoing.

Apart from this type of leisure I also enjoy going to see good movies, drag my feet around museums and read a few books in parallel.

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Do you do „a normal Job“ beside making awesome Music?

Yes I have a day job for sure, so does everyone in the band. I will not lie: we lose money making this music, but it gives us a lot of other things in return so it is easily worth it for us. But that is also the reason why some members decide to stop, the passion must be there in order to be able to take all the strains and costs to keep going.

If yout got one wish…?

That we could live in a world where fear is not the main motivator for people and their actions. That would be a much better and interesting place. Unless the fine-print does not allow a wish for endless wishes…

A few words to your Fans out there in Germany and all the Others in the World?

Thank you for reading this far! I hope you take some time and check out Netherbird and our upcoming album, it could change your life, or at least keep you entertained for some 40 minutes which isn’t that bad either. Stay strong and see you all our there one of these days!

Thanks for the interview, „Nephente“. Many greetings to all of you. Something that is important to me: Stay healthy and good luck for the Release of your new Album!

Thank you Tobi for doing this and for spreading the word about new music, that is the only way for underground bands to reach listeners, so I really mean it when I say: keep it going! It matters!

Cheers
Nephente


Tracks “Arete”:

01. Âme Damnée || 01:26 Minuten
02. Towers Of The Night || 07:09 Minuten
03. Void Dancer || 05:48 Minuten
04. Infernal Vistas || 05:42 Minuten
05. Carnal Pentiment || 05:09 Minuten
06. Mystes || 05:31 Minuten
07. The Silence Of Provenance || 05:15 Minuten
08. Atrium Of The Storm || 08:36 Minuten

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LINE-UP

Johan “Nephente” Fridell | Vocals
Pontus “Bizmark” Andersson | Lead Guitars
Tobias “Tinitus” Jakobsson | Guitars, Backing Vocals
Micke “M.A.” André | Bass
Fredrik Andersson | Drums

Photocredit Jens Rydén